Studio Ochenta and TRAX from PRX present “Cultureverse,” a new podcast starring Kelly Marie Tran and Yara Shahidi
The immersive 12-part series will launch on June 24, celebrating our collective cultural past while bringing myths and legends to life
TRAX — a podcast network for tweens from public media organization PRX — today announced “Cultureverse,” a new fictional, adventure podcast produced by Studio Ochenta. The show will be co-hosted by Kelly Marie Tran (“Raya and the Last Dragon”) and Yara Shahidi (“Grown-ish”), who will narrate episodes alongside a cast of voice actors.
A trailer for “Cultureverse” is available now. The show podcast will premiere free to audiences on Thursday, June 24 and new 15-minute episodes will be released on Thursdays through September 30. Tran will host episodes one through six and Shahidi will host episodes six through 12.
The podcast celebrates our collective past while providing a place for myths and legends to come alive in the modern world. In each episode, ordinary kids encounter extraordinary creatures, myths, or folk characters from their diverse cultural backgrounds and embark on a journey of self-discovery. In episode one, a group of friends go camping near a lake. One of them, of Jamaican descent, tells the story of the Rolling Calf, a mythical creature in Jamaican folklore who haunts those who break the rules. As the story progresses, the creature actually appears, and the adventure begins.
Additional episodes of “Cultureverse” will be rooted in folktales and legends from Mexico, India, China, Nigeria, Vietnam, Puerto Rico, the Cherokee Nation, and more. Listeners will also hear a variety of spoken languages represented across episodes, including Spanish, Cantonese, Korean and Vietnamese.
“‘Cultureverse’ is a world where kids get to explore the myths and legends of their own cultures. I’m so excited to be working with Studio Ochenta, Yara Shahidi, and reuniting with PRX to bring these stories into the ears of young listeners everywhere,” said Tran. “These stories not only lift the voices of historically marginalized communities, they are also full of one thing the world always needs more of: magic. If ‘Cultureverse’ were a real place, I’d want to live there.”
“I’m thrilled to be a part of this production along with Kelly, Studio Ochenta, and TRAX,” said Shahidi. “I’m proud to co-host a show featuring storytelling underscored by curiosity and adventure, that provides bridges between cultures. ‘Cultureverse’ also speaks to me personally. I was raised with an appreciation of the cultures that make up our global community, and I can’t wait to share that experience with listeners everywhere.”
“‘Cultureverse’ is a celebration of who we are and where we come from.” said Lory Martinez, founder of Studio Ochenta and creative director of “Cultureverse.” “We are so honored to have been able to work hand in hand with folks from each and every one of these cultures to develop these stories and bring them to life for our listeners with the incredible voice talents of Kelly and Yara.”
“We view TRAX as an engaging space for tweens and their caregivers to not only find new podcasts across genres, but to also feel at home with our content made specifically for them. We launched the network when the world seemed to grow more complex by the minute, and I feel so grateful that preteens have TRAX to turn to,” said Michelle Smawley, executive producer of TRAX from PRX. “‘Cultureverse’ brings much-needed listening to young audiences — we’re proud to partner with the Studio Ochenta team.”
“Cultureverse” is available on-demand across podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, and at TRAX.fm.
About TRAX from PRX
TRAX from PRX is a collection of free podcasts offering 9–13 year-olds authentic, imaginative, and original stories. The shows are representative of lived experiences, both real and aspirational, and touch upon the issues important to tweens at this moment in their lives.
PRX is a public media organization shaping the future of audio by producing and distributing content, building technology, and training talented, independent producers. With an award-winning portfolio of iconic audio programs such as “The Moth Radio Hour,” “This American Life,” “Snap Judgment,” “Latino USA,” and “Reveal,” as well as a growing body of podcast-first productions, including the Radiotopia podcast network, find more at PRX.org.